Immigration debate launches in the Senate — and a GOP plan picks up support

The Senate’s top Republican endorsed a plan Monday that would revamp immigration policy the way President Trump wants to, as senators began debating whether to grant permanent legal status to some young undocumented immigrants and bolster the nation’s southern border security.

The showdown began with no sense of what might ultimately pass the closely divided Senate and could be sent to the House before reaching Trump for his signature.

The only thing senators agreed on with near unanimity was to start the discussion, voting 97 to 1 on Monday night.

“The American people have heard no shortage of rhetoric on this issue. They have heard many of my colleagues across the aisle insist this issue requires swift action,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky). “Now is the time to back up the talk with the hard work of finding a workable solution.”

McConnell endorsed a sweeping GOP plan that fulfills Trump’s calls to legalize the status of 1.8 million “dreamers,” spends at least $25 billion to bolster defenses along the U.S.-Mexico border, makes changes to family-based legal migration programs and ends a diversity lottery system used by immigrants from smaller countries.

Read more at The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/immigration-debate-launches-in-the-senate--and-a-gop-plan-picks-up-support/2018/02/12/f1759d28-103d-11e8-8ea1-c1d91fcec3fe_story.html